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Oklahoma State football: Parents of Orange Pride members weigh in on Sports Illustrated article

The Walkers say Orange Pride has been a totally positive experience for their daughters, and they know their girls wouldn't continue to stay involved in something that was seedy or demeaning or shameful. That made it difficult Friday to read what Sports Illustrated wrote.
by Jenni Carlson Published: September 13, 2013

The more that Donnetta Walker read of the latest installment of Sports Illustrated's investigation of Oklahoma State football, the angrier she became.

Released late Friday morning, the story claimed that young women involved in the Orange Pride program had sex with recruits in an attempt to lure them to OSU. All of the hostesses were not implicated. None of those alleged to have used sex as a recruiting tool were even mentioned by name.

But the suggestion was unmistakable — the group is suspect and so are the women involved.

“It makes me mad,” Walker said of the story. “I do know a lot of those girls that are in it currently.”

She knows two particularly well.

Her twin daughters.

Caitlin and Cassidhe Walker, now seniors at OSU, were born in Oklahoma, but the Walkers moved to Texas when they were toddlers. When it came time to pick a college, the girls visited OSU and were sold. Loved the campus. Loved the town.

“Felt like it was home,” their mom said.

Early in their freshmen years — the first semester, really — they decided that they wanted to join Orange Pride. One of their sorority sisters was in the group and encouraged them to apply that spring.

They didn't need much encouragement. Their dad, Dugan, has been a high-school football coach for three decades, so they'd been around football all their lives. The chance to stay around the sport was a big draw.

Caitlin and Cassidhe told their parents that they were going to apply, and once Donnetta and Dugan looked over rules and regulations for the group, they were completely on board.

Nothing that's happened the past three years has changed that.

“They absolutely love it or they wouldn't have done it,” Donnetta said. “They talk about it all the time.”

They've told their parents about working in the football office during the week, about coming to adore recruiting secretary Sharla Curtis and about meeting with recruits on game days.

“Orange Pride for our kids has been a totally positive experience,” Dugan said.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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